Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
A Michigan woman who has not eaten for over two weeks in protest of the federal government’s refusal to answer specific questions about the legality of the income tax met with her congressman yesterday, demanding that he provide her an adequate response on the issue.
Rose Lear of Muskegon, Mich., met with Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra in his Capitol Hill office. She has vowed she will die of starvation unless the government addresses the two main contentions of the “tax honesty” movement – that the 16th Amendment authorizing the income tax was improperly ratified and that most Americans are not required to pay federal income tax, making it an illegal and unconstitutional system.
The 52-year-old began her hunger strike on Ash Wednesday, March 5, and already has shed five pounds from her 100-pound frame.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Lear’s action is reminiscent of the hunger strike by Bob Schulz of We the People. Schulz ended a 20-day hunger strike in 2001 after IRS and Justice Department officials agreed to meet with him to answer his questions. Government officials later reneged, and We the People held its own congressional-hearing style forum in Washington, D.C. At the event, several expert tax attorneys and former IRS officials “testified” that the income tax was illegal, improperly levied and burdensome to Americans.
It was the record of that forum that started Lear’s involvement with We the People. After hearing that the organization had delivered the written and video record of the tax hearings – along with the electronic signatures of thousands of Americans – to every member of Congress, she called Hoekstra’s office, which first denied having received the material before admitting that it was received.
The response to the specific issues raised, however, was not forthcoming from Hoekstra, so Lear – after her husband, William, was convicted of failure to file a tax return – decided to go on the hunger strike. William Lear began a one-year sentence in prison earlier this month.
As WND reported, Schulz helped Lear get to Washington, D.C., and arranged for the meeting with Hoekstra. Lear’s senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, did not have time to meet with her, she was told.
“Congressman Hoekstra could not answer my questions,” Lear said at a press conference after the meeting. She said the congressman told her he would “take a look at the material” that had originally been sent him in November.
It was clear Lear was not happy with the outcome of the meeting.
“Where is our representation? I don’t see it. Do you see it?” she asked.
She also advised anyone watching the press conference, which can be viewed online, to “embarrass your congressman and put a sign in your window!” She was referring to the sign in her own home’s front window, which reads: “Congressman Hoekstra: No Answers – No Taxes – No Food.”
Schulz also spoke at the press conference, explaining that it is Lear’s unalienable right to petition for “redress of grievances.” He explained that the petitions and records of the tax hearing were delivered to all members of Congress on Nov. 8 and that activists then staged a “Freedom Drive” to Washington, D.C., get the government’s response on Nov. 14.
But not one representative showed up to answer the petition, Schulz said. It was then that his organization decided to begin urging its members to withhold taxes until the questions were answered.
“It’s a fraud, and it’s illegally enforced,” Schulz said of the income tax.
“A man (Dixon) has lost his church; Rose Lear’s husband, Bill, has lost his freedom; and Rose is willing to lose her life to try and remedy this situation. This is an outrage!”
Continued Schulz, “Government must answer these questions, or the people must stop sending their money to Washington.”
Schulz announced that his organization would begin holding seminars to teach companies, individuals and independent contractors how to stop withholding and paying income tax. He said he “put the IRS on notice” that We the People would begin hosting the seminars and indicated he is inviting government officials to attend the events and correct the organization if anything claimed is incorrect.
“We have to put a stop to what is happening in America,” Schulz said, encouraging people to pray for Lear and demanding that Hoekstra answer her questions. “The ball is clearly in [Hoekstra's] court.”
Lear concluded the press conference by thanking her supporters: “I’d just like to thank everyone who has been calling over this last two weeks giving me their support, their prayers. All we can do is keep pushing. They must answer us.”
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